A MEDICAL examiner has classified George Floyd’s horrific death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as cops restrained him and compressed his neck.
Floyd’s struggle to breathe was captured in a shocking viral video on May 25, 2020. Just one officer has since been charged with murder.
Who was George Floyd?
George Floyd was a 46-year-old dad who spent most of his life in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
He was charged in 2007 with armed robbery in a home invasion in Houston.
In 2009 Floyd was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to court documents.
Years later, seeking a fresh start, and unemployed, he left Houston to find a job and start a new life in Minneapolis, where he worked as a truck driver and bouncer.
Prior to his death, he had been working as a security guard at Latin American restaurant Conga Latin Bistro in the city.
But, due to the coronavirus stay-at-home orders, Floyd lost his job.
Conga customer Jessi Zendejas said in a Facebook post that the security guard “loved his hugs from his regulars.
“[He] would be mad if you didn’t stop to greet him because he honestly loved seeing everyone and watching everyone have fun.”
In countless tributes, much has been said of him being regarded as a “gentle giant” – in reference to his towering stature of 6ft 6in and easygoing nature.
A natural athlete, he had been a star basketball and football player at school.
One former classmate, Jonathan Veal, told KWTX: “I was just blown away because I had never seen a 12-year-old that tall.
“We never referred to him as George, we would always call him ‘Floyd’ or ‘Big Floyd’.”
His Yates High School football and basketball teammate added that Floyd was a “caring person. His personality and his heart for others was equal or greater to his physical stature, and he always had a heart to give back”.
Two of Floyd’s children have also spoken out about his death.
KBTX reported that Quincy Mason Floyd and Connie Mason attended a Black Lives Matter demo on May 31 in Bryan, Texas.
Connie said: “My dad is in peace and we have to be the ones to deal with all this stress.
“It’s going to be tough to get over this day-by-day.”
Floyd’s ex-partner, Roxie Washington, told reporters about their six-year-old daughter, Gianna, and that he loved his little girl.
His girlfriend, Courtney Ross, described him as an “angel on earth”, adding that her partner “cannot die in vain”.
Why was he arrested in Minneapolis?
On May 25, officers responded to a call from a teenage grocery storeworker who alleged that Floyd had used a forged $20 note.
He had bought cigarettes from Cup Foods in Minneapolis.
Store owner Mike Abumayyaleh – who wasn’t working at the time – told NBC that Floyd was a regular customer, and never caused any trouble.
In a statement released by the Minneapolis Police Department, the officers responded to a report of a “forgery in progress”.
What was his cause of death?
A medical examiner on June 1 classified George Floyd’s death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck.
The cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression,” according to the official information from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“[Floyd] experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” it determined.
Under “other significant conditions” the office said Floyd suffered from heart disease and hypertension.
It also listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.
However those factors were not listed under cause of death.
A separate autopsy commissioned for Floyd’s family also called his death a homicide.
It concluded that that he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression, said the family’s attorney, Ben Crump.
That autopsy, by a forensic pathologist, found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and that the pressure of other officers’ knees on his back made it impossible for him to breathe, Crump added.
Who are the police officers involved in his death?
Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao are two of the four Minnesota police officers who were at the scene when George Floyd was restrained.
Chauvin was the white cop filmed in the now-viral video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes before he lost consciousness.
He was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case, which sparked protests across the globe.
Chauvin is being held in a state prison.
The other three officers on scene, like Chauvin, were fired the day after the death but have not been charged.
What did the video show?
After Floyd was located near his car by police, they claimed he “physically resisted officers” while possibly under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
Footage of the incident posted to social media shows Floyd groaning in pain and saying repeatedly “I can’t breathe” to Chauvin, while he was kneeling on his neck.
The cop had his other knee on Floyd’s back, near where his hands were handcuffed.
In the shocking footage, Floyd can also be heard saying “Don’t kill me!” before he becomes motionless with his eyes closed.
Thao can be seen to the right of Floyd in the vid, speaking with onlookers who are filming the arrest.
He pushes onlookers away from the scene as they shout: “He isn’t moving”.
The video was seen by the Floyd family, who didn’t realise it was their cousin.
This story originally published on https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11717522/who-george-floyd-why-arrested-minneapolis/